Art and design have been a part of mankind since a very long time, as its traces are still found amongst the ravages of the past. During the Stone Age, people conveyed messages with the help of pictorial designs on cave walls. Considering how it has evolved over the years, and transitioned side by side with man, it is safe to say that art and design have always been the primary mediums of communication. Further, it helps modern-day humans to acquire a deeper understanding of their past and showcases emotions that they fail to contain within the confines of mere words.
The World Conference on Arts Education “that occurred a few years ago in Lisbon, Portugal, discussed the Road Map for Arts Education with the aim to explore the role of Arts Education in meeting the need for creativity and cultural awareness in the 21st Century. It also emphasized on the strategies required to introduce or promote Arts Education in the learning environment.”
The purview of Art and design is so vast, that it influences society by shaping opinions, inculcating values, and creating experiences that travel beyond space and time. A recent study has found that these subjects are nothing, but a depiction of one’s inner self and hence, are bound to vary from person to person. Paintings, sculptures, music and various other forms of art and design are deemed to be the ‘respiratory system’ of the society. It gives a voice to the shy, and contributes to overall empowerment.
“The purpose of education is to bring out the best in you”, stated Mahatma Gandhi.
Here are a few ways through which art and design contribute towards the empowerment of individuals in this day and age:
Bringing communities together
The world is filled with a large number of people, and each of them has its own set of eyes for viewing the world, building perceptions and forming opinions. However, art and design as a form of communication bring communities together and bind them by providing a purpose. They draw people physically at places like galleries or exhibitions, as well as culturally through their ability to tell a community’s tale, and form connections that transcend.
Awareness about social issues
Art and design serve as vehicles for social change, by providing artists with the liberty to bring pressing issues to life, and educate people about them. For instance, environmental concerns have gained the attention of masses today, because awareness generation began through art forms across the world, even before other platforms came into the picture. Further, even the pages of history state that art has been an integral part of any movement endeavoured to bring a revolution or change in a social context.
Voice to a cause
Art and design are increasingly being used to rally multiple causes, as they fall under the nonviolent section of actions, campaigns, and movements. When these tools are used to challenge oppressive systems or fight unjust power holders, without violating any laws, it is termed as ‘cultural resistance’. These tactics inspire people to invest their lives into working for their community and facilitates the growth of local leaders with open minds. Additionally, issues that sometimes get lost, find a way to see the light of the day and are recognized. It is a harmless method of bringing home massive change, as it does not simply highlight issues, but commands justice, sans harping on sympathy or pity.
A multitude of studies has proved that visual communication has a greater impact as compared to any other medium. These forms tend to leave a lasting impression on the inward eyes of individuals and have higher retention. The human brain is designed in a way that visual stimuli and emotional responses can be easily linked. Further, visual imagery never dictates individuals about what to do, and instead, makes them feel, and consequently urges them to think, speak, and even take action.
Easy to communicate
Humans are essentially visual learners and interpreters. With a plethora of them communicating in different languages, it is very difficult to convey a message by using a textual or verbal format. Art forms and design structures surpass all of these language barriers, and the idea is shared with a large number of individuals in one go. It also works wonders towards bringing citizens of different nations, who do not speak the same language but share common interests together. In fact, a large number of today’s multinational organizations have been largely using signs, cue cards, and other visual aids to manage teams having a diverse workforce.
Swami Vivekananda said, “Education means the process by which character is formed, strength of mind is increased, and intellect is sharpened, as a result of which one can stand on one’s own feet.”
Art and design are necessary for the holistic development of an individual. For example, engineers can be very well versed with theories and bookish knowledge, but their education can be of no real good if they fail to possess aesthetic sensitivity. No matter what industry one operates in, the correct usage of these forms of communication can be highly beneficial while leading to optimum results.